By Tracy Bloom
Budget Impasse: President Obama proposed a new “grand bargain” Tuesday that would overhaul the corporate tax system while giving more money for jobs programs, but already it appears that plan will go nowhere. Republicans wasted no time denouncing the proposal after Obama announced it during a jobs speech at Amazon’s shipping facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., dismissing the president’s plan as a collection of old ideas. And so it seems the budget stalemate between Obama and Republicans will continue—at least for now. (Read more)
Running Battle: Looks like the feud between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won’t be patched up anytime soon. The pair of Republicans, both considered potential GOP presidential candidates in 2016, have been trading shots since last week, and those attacks seem to be getting nastier by the day. On Tuesday, Christie responded to Paul’s accusation that the New Jersey governor had a “Gimme, gimme, gimme” attitude for his state when it came to federal aid after October’s Superstorm Sandy. Said Christie: “I find it interesting that Sen. Paul is accusing us of having a “Gimme, gimme, gimme” attitude toward federal spending when in fact New Jersey is a donor state and we get 61 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington. Interestingly, Kentucky gets $1.51 on every dollar they send to Washington.” It’s doubtful Paul will let that charge go unanswered. (Read more)
In Deeper Trouble: The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to sue Mayor Bob Filner to recoup any legal fees the city incurs over fighting a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by his former communications director. Previously, the mayor’s attorney had requested that San Diego, the nation’s eighth-largest city, pay for his client’s legal expenditures. “This is part of due process,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. “If Bob Filner engaged in unlawful conduct and the city is held liable, he will have to reimburse us every penny the city pays and its attorney fees.” Filner has faced numerous calls—including from seven of the City Council’s nine members—to resign in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal involving multiple women. (Read more)
Return to Sender: Embattled Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is under investigation over possible ethics violations, says he is working to return every gift he received—including a Rolex watch—from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Jr., one of his major political backers. “My intent is everything I have received from this particular donor ... that those gifts that I have in my possession, I am working with my counsel to be able to return,” McDonnell said. Last week, the Republican repaid—with some interest—roughly $120,000 in loans he got from the benefactor. The actions McDonnell has undertaken come amid calls for his resignation over the revelations of Williams’ gifts and loans to the governor. McDonnell insists that these steps are the “first of many” to restore the public’s trust in him. (Read more)
Cheney Backlash: GOP officials are reportedly none too pleased that Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has decided to mount a Senate campaign in Wyoming instead of in her adopted state of Virginia. The issue: The younger Cheney passed up an opportunity to run for the U.S. Senate in a swing state (Virginia) where Republicans are looking for someone to challenge a sitting Democrat (Sen. Mark Warner) in order to “primary” a popular GOP incumbent (Sen. Mike Enzi) in a Republican stronghold (Wyoming). Cowboy State voters don’t seem too keen on Cheney’s prospects either, with one poll revealing that they favor her running in Virginia, where she grew up and lived until last year. (Read more)
Video of the Day: Journalist Jeremy Scahill appeared on “Democracy Now!” on Tuesday, where he responded to the Bradley Manning trial verdict by excoriating the “corporate news media” for its “shameful” coverage of the case. “When you look at how CNN and MSNBC and Fox News covered the Jodi Arias trial—where all of cable news was turned into one big ‘Nancy Grace Christmas’—and then you look at the utter lack of coverage,” Scahill said. He continued: “There has been more coverage of the indictment of that ‘Real Housewives’ lady and her husband than there has been of Bradley Manning.” A military judge found Manning not guilty Tuesday of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, but guilty of numerous others. He faces more than 100 years in prison.